Hey, kids, good afternoon, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. It's National Napping Day... did you take a nap? I will after I get done with this blog thing. Speaking of napping... Are you looking for a workout that doesn't involve sweating, lifting or... hell... even moving? Then napercise is for you. As the name suggests, this exercise class is pretty much adult nap time. Napercise classes are currently offered at David Lloyd Gyms in the U.K., and involve 15 minutes of stretching and 45 minutes of napping. Each enrollee in the class is provided a bed, comforter and eye mask to ensure restful, uninterrupted sleep. That is, unless someone in the class snores. Here is how the David Lloyd website describes the class, "Napercise is scientifically designed to reinvigorate the mind, improve moods and even burn the odd calorie. The frantic nature of modern life means that few of us seem to get enough sleep, and if you’re a parent, [a good night’s rest] becomes even more of a luxury. The development of Napercise is inspired by past academic studies into the important health benefits that napping in the day can bring." Finally, a workout I'll actually enjoy. Alright, I know what you're thinking... napercise is just one big scam. After all, you can do this exercise at home, for free, and not have to sleep in some random bed in a room with a bunch of strangers. However, the class is ideal for new parents who are exhausted, especially ones with kids who would never allow them to indulge in an uninterrupted nap. If nothing else, at least we all have an actual excuse to go to the gym now. Sweet dreams!
Ignorance is bliss, and Caitlyn Jenner is blissful no longer. After endorsing Donald Trump and saying he would be "very good for women’s rights," defending voting for him, and wearing a MAGA hat after he tried to ban trans people from serving in the military, Jenner has now seen the light about Trump's darkness. "As far as trans issues, this administration has been the worst ever," she told "Newsweek" at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala (also, what was she doing at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala?) "They’ve set our community back 20 years, easily," Jenner said. "It’s going to be hard to change, but we’ve been through these types of things before and we’ll continue to fight it." People hate to say "I told her so," so they're calling on her to apologize for having been so dangerously wrong. Here's one person who realized they were duped by Trump. Only 62,984,824 to go.
Last night, Betsy DeVos appeared on "60 Minutes" to give an exclusive interview with Lesley Stahl, and things probably did not go the way the Education Secretary had hoped. DeVos has always been a controversial figure... two Republicans voted against her nomination. She wants to rewrite the Obama administration’s approach to policing campus sexual assault to protect not only victims, but also the accused. Oh yeah, and she also advocated for putting guns in schools in case a grizzly bear wandered in and needed to be shot. Seriously. But still, DeVos maintains that she is not unfit for the role of Education Secretary, but just is simply "misunderstood." However, when it came to her "60 Minutes" episode, DeVos had a hard time explaining her own policies and plans. "Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing?" Stahl asked. "I have not," DeVos answered. "I have not. I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming." "Maybe you should," Stahl suggested. To put it very lightly, Betsy DeVos is the human version of when you didn't do the reading but you get called on.
Linda Tracy Gillman, 70, is currently on trial for hiring a hitman... and was just charged again for the same crime. KSL reports that the senior citizen in Harriman, Utah was convicted of trying to arrange her ex-husband murdered, then charged with seeking a second hitman while in jail, and was just charged AGAIN with hiring a third hitman because third time's a charm. It all started in December 2016, when Gillman allegedly gave an employee of her's $5,000 to carry out a hit on her ex and his new wife, promising him $100,000 more once she got some of that sweet life insurance money. Instead of going to the ex to kill him, the employee went to the police. In June 2017, while in jail, she allegedly asked an another inmate whom she thought was in a white supremacist gang to hit the failed hit man who sent her to prison. "Gillman referred to herself as 'the bank,' and said that she 'could make everything happen'" if the inmate could take out the tattler. Now on trial for her first attempted hit, Gillman allegedly tried to arrange for the prosecution's key witness to be murdered. I'm sorry, lady, but you should get a new hobby. Hiring hitmen just doesn't fill the time.
On Friday, a nun being sued by Katy Perry collapsed and died in court. The 89-year-old Sister Catherine Rose Holzman fell out during a post-judgment hearing connected to the lawsuit filed by Perry and the Archdiocese of L.A. For those not caught up on the bitter legal battle between Perry and the nuns (what even is life), the battle is over who has the legal right to sell the convent the nuns lived in from 1971 to 2011. The Archdiocese of L.A. offered to sell the convent to Perry for $14.5 million in 2015, while the late Holzman and another nun from the Immaculate Heart of Mary community arranged to sell it to the L.A. restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million. Perry and the Archdiocese opened a case against Hollister and the nuns, under claims that the nuns had no right to sell the property. Perry wants to turn the property into a private home for her mother and grandmother, while Hollister wants to turn it into a hotel. "Perry was a very lovely person but her offer is not as good as Dana’s. We’re looking for someone who will care for our property and let it be open for the public to enjoy. She wants it for a private home, a hideaway,” one of the nuns said, according to "NY Daily News." Just last week, the nuns released a documentary about their ongoing legal battle for their home. Following Sister Holzman's tragic passing on Friday, the Archdiocese released a statement expressing condolences, "Sister Catherine Rose served the Church with dedication and love for many years and today we remember her life with gratitude. We extend our prayers today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary community and to all her friends and loved ones.” A post on the website advertising the sisters' documentary further expresses their thoughts towards Perry's proposed purchase. "Our Sisters were supposed to live for the rest of our lives at our beloved Convent. But, against our will, the Archdiocese removed us to 'monetize' our property. Katy Perry wants it and she has no concern for the terrible path of destruction she is creating to get it. She is deeply hurting us and our friends who have stepped up to help us." There are no words for how simultaneously sad and bizarre this whole scenario is.
So, instead of writing this blog I should be listening to this album...
I bet that's not all she can blow... If I had a TARDIS I would go back to see the Statue of Liberty being constructed.... forgetting it was in constructed in France. Ugh.
The other day I Googled "dogeball" instead of "dodgeball" and this is what I got.
That's creepy. Do you go to Pet Smart? They have a pretty good store rewards card...
Here's another teacher saying what she wants to be armed with...
So, a few weeks ago I told you about a dog with a human face... here he is ICYMI...
I asked you to send in pics of your dogs if they have human faces and I received a few. Check this one out...
He's adorable but doesn't really have a human face. Hey, parents, I hope your kid is as talented as the kid that did this...
So, I mentioned Betty DeVos earlier... well, this was on her phone before she was on "60 Minutes"...
Hahahaha. Did you see the pic of Trump on International Women's Day a few days ago? No? Check it out.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, in the past I had this really funny comedian come on the Phile and tell a joke. The problem is though he's so old that it's hard to understand what he's saying. Fortunately I am kinda old as well and do understand him as he speaks old English, and that makes me able to translate the joke so you'll understand. So, please welcome to the Phile once again...
Me: Hello, Alan, welcome back to the Phile, sir.
Alan: Salutations, Jason.
Me: Alright, tell us the joke you have for us today, Alan.
Alan: Okay. A booby of a country squire, who made an honest woman of his father's chamber-maid, bolted into the room when she was in labour, and blubbering over her with great tenderness, sobbed out that he was sorry she felt so much pain on his account. "Don't make thyself uneasy, love," said the wife, "I can't bear to see thee fret, for I'm sure it was not thy fault."
Me: Haha. That's funny. Okay, here goes... When a dumb guy's wife goes into labor, he apologizes for the pain he's causing her. But she's like, "Don't worry about it; it's probably not your baby." Haha. Do you have one more for us today, Alan?
Alan: One came to a citizen to buy a mat, and shewing him many, he liked them not; then he to jeer the country fellow, brought forth his daughter mat, and told him, this was all the mats he had. "No," says he, "I must have one that has not been lain upon."
Me: Hmmm... okay... lemme think... A guy wants to buy a mat, but doesn't like any of the ones the mat-seller has. So then they get the mat-seller's daughter, who is also named Mat for some terrible reason, and the guy buying says, "Yeah, I don't want a mat that someone has lain upon. In the sex way. Because your daughter has obvi slept with some dudes." That's not very good, but i think that's it. Alan, thanks for coming back on the Phile. Come back again soon.
Alan: Thank you. Farewell, Jason.
Me: Alan Raglafart, the 100-year-old comedian, everyone.
Hahaha. That one I get.
The 77th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
The author, David Frankham will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
There are three women. One is dating, one is engaged, and one is married. They decide to get kinky with their men and really pull out all the stops to make it extra special. The woman who is dating says, “Okay, so I bought black leather, red lipstick, fishnet stockings, and really got crazy. He loved it so much he thinks he’s in love.” The woman who is engaged says, “I showed up to his work after hours wearing only a red coat. Let’s just say he wants to move the wedding date up!” The woman who is married says, “Okay, I really went all out. I got a babysitter for the kids, and bought a black mask and a whip. My husband gets home, goes straight to the fridge, and grabs a beer. Then he plops down on the couch and says, 'Hey Batman! Where the fuck is dinner?!?'" Hahahahahahaha.
It will be a few cool entries from Gainesville. I hope.
Today's guest is an American actor, comedian, film director, screenwriter and game show host. I am so thrilled to have him as a guest on the Phile. Please welcome the great... Wil Shriner.
Me: Hey, Wil, welcome to the Phile. I'm so exited to have you here. How are you?
Wil: I'm good, Jason, thank you.
Me: I have to tell you my friend Rich and I were talking about you at work a while ago and he mentioned to me you'll be a cool guest on the Phile. I remember you when you used to be on Letterman back on the day. You were really good friends with Dave and he gave you your first big break, am I right?
Wil: Yeah, Dave and I were friends at the Comedy Store in the late 70s and when he got a show going he said, "If I ever get something going I want to hire you." David Letterman, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis, were all hanging around the Store, we were all just struggling comedians and Dave started doing "The Tonight Show" as host and I did my first few shows with Dave, and when he got the show in New York he took me and Rich Hall and Merrill Markoe all to New York. We were like kids in the candy store, doing the network show live ninety minutes every day.
Me: How did you get into comedy, Wil? Your dad was a humorist so you were raised surrounded by it, was that a part of it?
Wil: Yeah, that's pretty much it. My dad was a humorist and a TV personality, he started in radio as a musician. He had a show called "Two for the Money," and had his own variety show. My dad, since he had twins, I have a brother who is my twin, put us in commercials so we we just grew up around show business. My mom was an acrobat dancer, so it just seemed like the thing to do. If my dad was a fireman I'd probably become a fireman... I grew up around comedy and my dad worked like an hour a couple of nights a week and I was I like these hours.
Me: Wil, my dad was a rock and roll singer... I barely play the kazoo. You grew up in New York, am I right?
Wil: No, I was just born in New York. I grew up in Florida, and a little bit in L.A.
Me: When did you start to do comedy yourself?
Wil: Well, I started comedy in school, I went to Catholic school, so if I saw my friends get smacked over something I said I found great joy in that. I took it to the stage in '77. I was making funny movies, I went to the UCLA film school and I was making little short films that I would show in the art house theaters. They would had tracks live, and I recorded the tracks on it and thought I could do these funny news reels. I was showing them at the Comedy Store, I would put a 16 millimeter projector in the back and I would show them. They were a hip modern commentary, a lot of the jokes were biometrically opposed on what they were seeing on camera. It seemed to be unique and different enough that I become a regular at the Improv and the Store pretty quick. So, then it was just the time of building stage time, develop an act outside of the movies and talking about my life. As I went through all the stuff I went through, getting married, having kids, getting remarried and all that stuff it just becomes fodder for material.
Me: Isn't your son a comedian now, Wil?
Wil: Yeah, he's a third generation comedian. I go to the open mics with him occasionally. He's been getting up at the Improv and the Comedy Store. He goes to these open mics places, like Flappers where Missy puts him up. He's developing an act, he's got twenty minutes now.
Me: So, what was it like when you started, do you think it's different now than it was back then?
Wil: I would not want to try and make it today. When I was doing it there was a real supportive nature to comedy, there was a HBO special about this that was loosely based on Bud Freeman, and it was about how comics were supportive. They would crank up the TV when we were on "The Tonight Show" and everyone would come into the bar and watch and cheer if we got over to sit with Johnny and Bud would buy a round of all drinks. We all went out at night and all help each other with our bits. It was very collaborative and supportive, but there were only about two or three hundred comedians in those days. We knew everybody, we knew everybody's routines. There was Tom Dreeson, who was a little ahead of me, Jimmie Walker, Handling, some of these guys who already had good acts. Those guys were very giving, and today is a little darker environment, everybody is pissed off about everybody else's success, but there's room for everybody. When you watch TV now there's so many outlets for expression and creativity. The Internet has opened it up, I mean look what you are doing, you have your own outlet. You don't have to wait around for somebody to give you a start now, you just create your own future. YouTube and a lot of these channels are giving people opportunities to go to the next level. It's also bringing a lot of crap on, a lot of wasted time on YouTube. I still think people have to be entertaining, have interesting characters, have a story to tell, otherwise they are not really servicing an audience.
Me: That is so true. I actually did stand up myself, mostly in the mid 90s. But it's so much easier to do this blog. So, when you worked on the Letterman morning show what did you do?
Wil: I was a writer for the show, and a lot of us wrote our own bits and we had to bring them on... Rich Hall, Bob Sarlatte, who was a San Francisco comic, Edie McClurg, Valri Bromfield... and so collectively we would write for the show. I would go out with cameras doing a lot on the street stuff, the kind of stuff you see now with "Billy on the Street." I was doing that in the 80s. Dave used to go out with Merrill, and he would go out and shoot remotes. That was great fun because it was called "found comedy." Basically you put Dave at a drive-thru window and we had "found comedy." A lot of the early stuff we did I took to other shows, we did "The Home Show" with Gary Collins for about six years. I went around the world doing pieces, they'd drop me somewhere, we would hire a film crew and we would make a story. We knew what we were doing, we went there with a purpose, but hen we knew we had shot five Beta tapes, five twenty minute tapes we knew we had enough for a five minute story we could get on a plane and come home.
Me: When you did "The Tonight Show" was that with Dave as the guest host?
Wil: Yeah, my very first two I came out on "The Tonight Show" and just showed a film on the guest spot, what is called the second spot on the panel. Show I showed a behind the scenes of "The Tonight Show" film I wrote and directed. Then I came back with a thing about the Democratic Convention, ans the third time I did a stand up monologue then went and sat with Dave. It took a little of the tension and the heightened sort of pressure for when I finally got to do it with Johnny the first time I had been there and knew the environment. "The Tonight Show" comedy spot was like five hundred people in the studio, the laughs just bathed me, it drenched me with laughter. We weren't supposed to look over at Johnny, we were supposed to just look forward and do the spot. I tell people all the time it was very intimating, standing behind that curtain and the band would stop with a thump and I would hear Johnny muttering, "My next guest is making a comedian appearance..." I would be like oh, shit, my heart would be beating and I would freak out, then when I would get my first laugh and then I'd settle in. Every comedian had that. A lot of us would go and do spots at 1 o'clock the night before just so we would bomb and feel comfortable knowing our set. No laughs.
Me: That's so cool. With your first show with Johnny how did you do?
Wil: I did good. It was never relays scheduled when I was going to get called over, the big care for people was getting called over the first time out. It happened to Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Carey, Roseanne... there were a lot of elements to the show, if it was running long we knew we weren't going to get called over. If we went long personally, we planned six minutes but sometimes with the audience we would get seven because the audience would laugh, and pause and stuff like that. So, I would always suggest to people to plan five minutes, so maybe they'll leave themselves thirty seconds for Johnny to call you over. I did about two or three before I got called over, and then it was pretty much understood I would come over every time. Then I was doing a movie with Francis Ford Coppola called Peggy Sue Got Married, I just came out as an actor, without doing any stand up. I was on the panel and I was like now I really made it, I was like Dick Cavett, Steve Martin, I would just go and sit down.
Me: When you got on the show with Johnny did your comedy career In those days stay the same?
Wil: Oh, no, it was like winnng "American Idol" back in those days. In the late 70s and early 80s, when we did "The Tonight Show" in the day I was in the market and people saw me, and were like, "I saw you on 'The Tonight Show.'" Then I got a gig opening for Paul Anka, at the Aladdin in Las Vegas after my first Johnny "Tonight Show" appearance. I was there for a week with him, all of a sudden things started coming in and I was getting booked in other casinos. In those days the aspirations of a comic was getting the opening act status at bigger paying venues. We would all go to Vegas, or Tahoe or Reno, or Atlantic City and be an opening act. Once we had exposure we started to get billing and it kept building up. I finally built up to where it was called a co-headliner. Joan Rivers and I would work Caesars Tahoe, and we would get equal billing on the marquee. I was like oh, man, I'm making it. Even though Joan was making more money it was the prestige of co-headlining. The power of television in those days was to take you in those areas. Then along came the mid-80s when Roseanne got her TV show and Drew Carey and Brett Butler, Tim Allen and all these guys would get their own sitcom. That became the hurdle, I want to get on "The Tonight Show" with a set that shows my attitude and get a development deal.
Me: Did you ever get offered a sitcom show, Wil?
Wil: No, not really. In those days I wasn't really driven. It was stupid, when I started directing sitcoms I realized what a great life it is. It's probably the best life in show business. They're on a soundstage with air conditioning and people bringing you food, light rehearsals, it's a great life. It's funny, Barry Sand wo produced the morning Letterman show said to me, "If Dave doesn't show up one morning I'm going to put you in the chair so be prepared." I was like yeah, that would be cool, I'd like that. I kind of just leaned towards being a host and I really admired Carson so much, everybody wanted that life, their own talk show.
Me: You mentioned Peggy Sue Got Married... how did you get to be in that movie?
Wil: It was a weird thing, I made this little film for Letterman about my dog stealing my car and driving around the neighborhood and Francis Coppola's casting guy saw me on there and wanted a copy of the film. I went into a meeting at Warner Bros. and he said am I interested being in a film? I said sure, as I've done a couple of small films and things like that. So, I read something for him and be brought me back to meet Francis and the next thing I know I've got a co-starring role in Peggy Sue Got Married, playing Joan Allen's husband. With all those people in it, Kathleen Turner, Nicholas Cage, Jim Carrey, Sophia Coppola... we were all on the road to being actors now, this is in '85. I came back and I got an "Amazing Stories" episode for Kevin Reynolds, and then I got on "Dream On" for Jon Landis and I'm thinking I'm getting some good credits here.
Me: How did you first get your own talk show, Wil?
Wil: Alan Thicke was going to host his own talk show for Westinghouse but he got "Growing Pains" and he bailed out. I knew a couple of people over there and and they asked me if I'd be interested. I said, "Yeah, I would be actually." So I went out, getting groomed, sent around the country to different stations to host their local shows. They developed me as a talk show host and we sold it to hundred and ten markets really easily the first year. It was off and running and we got big ratings. In the beginning we got a four rating and of course in those days a four wasn't good enough. I did two hundred hours of that and all the executives at Westinghouse all got fired and replaced, so no one really championed us for a second year. Suddenly I found myself out of work as a talk show host. Then I hosted an animal show for CBS, and a show about inventions for Goldwyn... I became a go to host, kind of like a Mario Lopez or Billy Bush was. I did that for a long time and that kind of killed my acting career.
Me: I'm so jealous... I always wanted my own talk show... instead I got this silly little blog. What was it like having your own talk show, Wil?
Wil: It was a lot of work, I'd get there at nine in the morning and I got home at ten at night. It was a long day and we did two shows a day, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We did a one o'clock and a five o'clock show, we basically did a show, had a half hour to put my fetus, and then started to look at notes for the next show. It was tremendous work, and in away when it finally ended it was a relief. I look at Ellen and Kimmel and it's one show the whole day, which is hard enough, but we were doing two a day and at the end when the money was getting cut we were doing three a day. I would come home and couldn't remember who was on. My wife would ask me who was on and I would be like I don't remember, I think Dr. Ruth was on. We were nominated for three Emmys but it was tough, we were up against Oprah and Phil Donahue, and for us we were on at 9 a.m. in New York up against a show called "Regis and Kathy Lee." In Chicago we were after Letterman, and in L.A. we were on at ten at night. We were like who is our audience, who were we trying to reach here? It's tough, when they syndicate shows they just try to sell them and it's always been a challenge. They gave is a drawing of a woman from Indiana with a high school education, with two and a half kids, forty thousand dollar family income, "That's your audience, go after her." We'd go we don't really want to go after that audience.
Me: When you had your talk show did you still go out and do stand up?
Wil: After the TV show ended I did a lot of clubs, because I could fill clubs, people knew who I was. There's a big difference with people wanting to pay to see me opposed to just being a comic in a club. It was easier actually, with people coming in predisposed, liege me and wanting to see me. I did that for about twelve years. I always kept my hand in stand up, it was always the satisfying job because I was the writer, producer, director, editor, I got to do it all. To this day when guys come through who are friends of mine for bargain price I go and open for them. I'm happy to go on in theaters and stuff because it's a better environment for me than the Ed Hardy crowd in the comedy clubs.
Me: Did people ever see you and think this is not the Wil we know or remember? Does that makes sense?
Wil: Yeah, it does. I'm pretty much truthful to my comedy and myself, it's pretty much true to who I am. It's not like Bob Saget, who has a challenge, who was a dad on "Full House." When I used to see him Bob used to worm pretty blue and it would shock people because that's not what they were expecting. There are comics that are definitely shy in person, like Steve Martin, he's pretty much reserved and shy but his act was way out there. If you are playing to see someone you are already predisposed that you like them. I opened up for country acts, Tom Jones, Crystal Gale, Loretta Lynn, I kind had to be aware as a comic look at the audience, try to make them laugh with a common ground. I can't just be here's what I do and you are going to like it whether or not. I think it'll cost me ultimately on the success of my show. In Florida if I have to work for an older crowd I have to work a little slower, explain the jokes a little buit... I have to references that they're going to get. I've always prided myself if I am performing for a corporate crowd I learn their business and use words that are part of their lexicon. As a comic I can get as dirty as I want to get but I don't feel the need to do that.
Me: I was surprised when I fond out you directed TV, Wil. How did you get into that?
Wil: I was playing poker with Jay Sandrich who directed a lot of "Cheers," "Newhart," "Mary Tyler Moore," and a director named John Bowab who directed television and Broadway, and Bud Freeman, Rich Hall, Tom Dreesen, there was a bunch of us. Those two directors said don't tell anyone but that was the best job in show business. I get residuals for the rest of my life... I just got a residual today for "Fraser." It's the gift that keeps on giving. As I was getting older my manager said, "They are looking for a Wil Shriner type." I said, "You should submit me." He said, "No, they're looking for a younger, cheaper Wil Shriner." That's when it kind of hit me I am aging up. Television and comedy, it's about youth and that's who they're after. I went and saw Jay and Jimmy Burrows, another great TV director being honored at a TV Academy event. I bumped into Kelsey Grammar who I've known for years as he grew up in Florida, and he said, "What are you doing here?" I said, "I just played cards with Jay and I'm thinking about TV directing." He said, "Really? If you're serious come to my office and come to 'Frasier.'" So I started to go to "Frasier" and watch and I went to all the rehearsals, the run throughs, the tapings, and from there I've became friends with some of the great directors. They took me on other shows and I put in a hard year going around. I felt like a stinky fish, everyone was like who is this guy? What's he doing? I did my time, tried to stay out of the way and watched. Then Peter Casey who ran the "Frasier" show said, "I assume you're hanging out here because you want to direct one of these." I said, "No, Peter, I just come by because I like to see what you're wearing everyday." He laughed and said, "Well, we're going to put you up for one next season." I got one in January, 2000, it was a good script, it was a good episode, I dd a good job and then I got another one, then two and then four then six... I kept building my resume on shows. Ted Dansen had a show called "Becker," then Nathan Lane had a show called "Encore," I directed "Everybody Loves Raymond," and then Norman Steinberg who is a great writer was running the Bob Saget show on the WB called "Raising Dad's," and I went over and directed three and then they offered the whole rest of the reason when they got picked up. Of course I took as many as I could but I was still doing "Frasier" and "Becker" because I knew they were going to have a long shelf life. I stayed with the good shows and did as many other shows as I can. I did "Gilmore Girls," "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," a bunch of shows. I had to pick them up as I could because those days were a lot of sitcoms and everybody couldn't work. Nowadays there's more sitcoms but it's a different kind of style, they're not the multi camera shows like "Friends," "Frasier," "Raymond," they were all shot with four cameras in front of a live audience. A lot of shows now are done single camera, and usually one of the show runners or writers, producers do a lot of them themselves. It's easier.
Me: Okay, so, I have to ask you about Hoot. How did you get to be the director of that film?
Wil: I met Jimmy Buffett and I read the Carl Hiaasen book "Hoot," and thought it'll make a great movie, so I asked how do we do that? I said I would write the script if I could direct it and we shook on a fish sandwich in the Keys. I went back and wrote the script and I got notes from Jimmy and notes from Carl. He gave it to Frank Marshall who is a big deal producer, and Frank had some really good notes so I went back and addressed those notes. We took it out to Walden and sold it in our first meeting. Now we set out to make this movie and start casting it.
Me: I never seen the movie but I think my son has. I looked up to see who was in it and was really surprised. Did you have a part in the casting?
Wil: There was a little girl in Bob Saget's show who played his daughter named Brie Larson, I loved her and thought she was so talented and vulnerable. I cast her as one of the lead's and to my great pride she is now an Oscar winner. Now she's going to be Captain Marvel. She's got this great career and I feel good that I spotted her talent. I think that was her first lead in a movie. We had a kid named Logan Lerman who played the male lead and he's gone on to do dozens of movies.
Me: You have directed dramas and sitcoms for TV... what are the biggest differences apart from being in front of a live audience? And I can't believe you directed "Gilmore Girls."
Wil: "Gilmore Girls" was like a dramady... there were some lighter moments, there were some dramatic moments. For a show like that a lot of us who were freelance directors we had to come in and take the temperature of the actors, the set, who was in charge. When I went in to do "Gilmore Girls" I had to say to the little young girl, "Okay, we are going to try and do this." She would walk in looking mad and I would say, "Can you be a little more fun when you walk through the door?" She'd say, "Whatever." I'll be like, "Okay, well, if you can try it." And I did ten more takes until she did it. They're not really different, I am still telling a story with a lens and actors. To me it's getting the best eye line on an actor, people would upstage themselves.
Me: Okay, well, you have done soooo many bloody things, Wil. Is there anything you haven't done that you want to?
Wil: I'd love to do a one man show on Broadway, that's what I'm working to, something like that.
Me: Wil, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope Rich likes it. Haha.
Wil: Jason, it's a pleasure to talk to you, and tell Rich hi.
Me: Cool. Any advice you want to give before you go?
Wil: I always say share what you know. Keep making people laugh.
Me: I'll try.
That about does to for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Wil for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Liz Hooper and Dan Murphy from All Good Things. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. It's nap time...
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker